Algae is present whenever there is liquid and light.

Algae Prevention in hydroponic gardening

Unsightly and Slimy Algae

In hydroponics gardening, where light, water and nutrients are present, algae growth can be a weekly maintenance headache to clean. Algae can be present in soil as well. Wherever light meets moisture.

Algae Prevention in hydroponic gardening

Hydroponic Chores

To prevent or at least reduce algae growth, removing the light element is the easier solution for roots zone.

Large systems gardening used dark opaque colored containers for reservoir for this reason, however when we want to recycle small bottles for rooting purposes or KRATKY hydroponics, there is often no choice in bottles’ colors unless paint is used.

Hydro lavenders from seeds

Lavenders in KRATKY

Larger bottles wear socks to shield soil or liquid from light.

using recycled materials in gardening

Re-used old Socks

Another solution can be found by re-using hard paper rolls to shield clear plastic containers from light, especially for smaller bottles.

No glue needed! All we need are paper rolls and a pair of scissors. Cut a slit along the length of the paper roll.

Prevent algae in Hydroponics

No glue needed

The height as desired to cover the bottle. Two or more paper rolls may be needed to cover a tall cylinder shaped bottle.

Prevent algae in Hydroponics

Cut Length as needed

Short paper roll to bracket paper shield in place.

Prevent algae in Hydroponics

Paper Bracket

A free of charge, 5 minutes solution to prevent algae growth in small hydroponic bottles and helped our environment!

Prevent algae in Hydroponics

5 minutes solution




Thanks to Jack Yam’s sharing with easy to follow tutorial and accompanying photographs, a lot of gardeners learned how to grow microgreens.

With Jack’s permission, his pictures and instructions are shared in this post.

Step 1 – Recycle any plastic container suitable for growing! Drill or cut holes at the base for drainage. This allowed excess water to drain from the soil.

Grow food at home

Cut or drill holes for drainage

Not handy with electric drill, I re-used easier to cut soft plastic containers instead! Drainage holes were created by snipping corners with a pair of scissor.

Grow Harvest Eat from garden to table

Re-used plastic containers!

Step 2 – Fill only 1 inch depth of good gardening soil mix, customized or buy ready mix.

Microgreens from seeds

Fill and pat down soil

Step 3 – Water well, the medium should be very wet and then slowly drained from the holes we had cut/drilled below.

Grow Eat Fresh Food

The soil is very wet


Step 4 – Sow seeds on the surface. Press gently on seeds to ensure that they touched the soil but were not buried. 

Grow Eat Fresh Food

Seeds are on the surface

Lesson learned from our own experience, DO NOT cling wrapped the container as mold will grow. However this is easily remedied with sun exposure after a few hours.

Our microgreens’ journal began on December 17 2017 following Jack Yam’s instructions.

We hope to grow many varieties of microgreens and be able to harvest fresh from our table top gardens!

Grow microgreens from seeds

Broccoli and Red Beet seeds from Gardeners Day Out event in Singapore

  1. Broccoli seeds germinated in 18 hours!
Grow Eat fresh food at home

2017 December 18 at 2pm – Broccoli

Impatient to taste our first microgreens, we harvested on December 24 2017, exactly 7 days later.

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Broccoli microgreens taste like broccoli

Jack Yam advised there is no fixed rule as to when microgreens can be harvested. They can be as young as one week old with a set of seed leaf or more mature 3 to 4 weeks. The older seedlings will have more leaves and better bite. Microgreens are generally eaten raw and however old they are when we harvest them, they taste really good.

How to Grow microgreens at home

Dec 29 2017 – Broccoli leaf

How to Grow microgreens at home

2 weeks old seedling

2) Red beet was our second microgreen variety to try .

The seeds are really cute as they looked like wholemeal cereal bites!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

December 17 2017

Red beets germinated on December 19 2017, 2 days later.

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

December 19 2017 – red beet

First harvest and taste on Christmas day 2017!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Red beet

How to grow microgreens at home

Red Beet Leaf taste like beet!

Whole food grow at home made great snacks as well!

Grow Harvest Eat microgreens

Red beets and broccoli greens!

Growing microgreens was really easy and  fast to harvest.

In spite of their size, they packed a punch in nutrients, texture and taste.

Our grow rack of  anti-aging, healthy and colourful microgreens is expanding! 🙂

How to grow microgreens at home

2017 Dec 30 – Growing more varieties

One Time harvest 

  1. Spicy Taste – radishes, mustard/mizuna (wasabi tasting) , rockets
  2. Thai Basil
  3. Broccoli
  4. Pea / dou miou
  5. Red Cabbage
  6. Sunflower
  7. Alfalfa
  8. Red Amaranth
  9. Coriander
  10. Fenugreek
  11. Basil (green , purple)
  12. Kale
  13. Pak Choy
  14. Spinach
  15. sesame
  16. Chia seeds
  17. Water Cress
  18. Edamame
  19. Fennel
  20. Cucumber
  21. Chard
  22. Stevia
  23. Pumpkin leaves
  24. Sorrel
  25. Chives

Multiple harvests microgreens – cut will regrow

  1. Corn (Jack Yam’s tip – the white part of shoots are very sweet but the longer the shoot grows, the texture is fibrous)
  2. Wheatgrass

Most leafy greens can be harvested early to be eaten as microgreens or let to mature to grow into salads. Thus we can use vegetables and herbs seed for microgreens. For example, any type of kale, basil, pak choy, amaranth etc.

Microgreens vs. Sprouts

They are not the same.

Sprouts are germinated seeds and harvested in 48 hours. Consumed sprouts are mainly the seed, stem, roots and underdeveloped light color leaves. Their ideal growing conditions, 100% humidity and warmth (27C/80F), sometimes carried risks of pathogenic bacteria. In Europe, consumers are often advised to cook sprouts before eating.

Microgreens are young greens and harvested from 2 to 4 weeks. Their growing conditions are completely opposite the sprouts conditions – high light and sun exposure, low humidity and good ventilation. They have 2 developed cotyledons (seed leaf) and partially developed true leaf. Usually consumed raw without roots as they are cut above soil level.

An USDA 2012 study on microgreens yield an interesting detail. The nutritional benefits of microgreens varied when its grown in artificial lights and natural strong sunlight. According to this study, natural sunlight will yield the maximum nutritional content for microgreens.







Garden Craft – Self Watering Pots

Going away for holidays? Worried about your plants?

Here is a Green project to gift yourself some extra peace of mind and save our environment by re-using more plastic bottles ! 🙂

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

  1. Cut an X on the cap and slit holes on plastic bottle near the opening
  2. Cut desired length of the wick
  3. Arrange the wick through the X cut and inside bottle
  4. Add medium and plant
How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 1 – An X cut on cap

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

small slits or cuts for water drainage from soil

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Aquarium Filter Wool as wick

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 2 – Aquarium Filter Sponge – Length as desired

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Cut bottle in half, soil depth as desired. Insert wicking sponge through X cut.

How to make self watering pots in 4 easy steps

Step 3 – Adjust wicking sponge as desired.

For wet loving plants, the wick can be inserted fully in reservoir. For drier loving plants, the inner pot can be inserted higher from water source with thinner wick. Thus, adjust as needed based on plants’ preferences.

self watering pots

Inner pot should fit well in reservoir

self watering pots

Step 4 – Add in suitable media for plants

Gardeners Craft and DIY

Completed – Rehousing our monsters (Venus Fly Trap)

This is another wicking method taught by Stella Lee in 2017 out of beverages carton. Absolutely practical and space saving ideas!

SElf watering pots n Garden Craft

Stella lee’s wicking method 

Self watering pots from recycled material

Young seedlings “incubators”

Happy Holidays!